Physician assistant versus Nurse practitioner

  1. 0
    Does anybody know what is the difference between a physician assistant and a nurse practitioner.

    They seem to have the same responsibilities and same range of salary.
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  4. 32 Comments so far...

  5. 0
    Hi there,

    Scope of practice varies according to individual state law. To know the exact difference in the state you wished to ultimately practice in, you could review that state's specific laws.

    Generally speaking, both are considered "mid-level" providers. There are a couple of states that are hinky about the prescriptive authority for each designation, which is where the tricky part comes in. Additionally, the degree of supervision from an MD or DO varies (again from state to state.)

    You might try www.aanp.org or www.aapa.org for additional info.
  6. 1
    Quote from xng
    does anybody know what is the difference between a physician assistant and a nurse practitioner.

    they seem to have the same responsibilities and same range of salary.
    hello, xng

    try these links:

    http://allnurses.com/forums/f34/clin...pas-83016.html

    http://allnurses.com/forums/f34/futu...on-123269.html

    http://allnurses.com/forums/f34/np-a...le-118427.html

    http://allnurses.com/forums/f34/fnp-vs-pa-107871.html

    http://allnurses.com/forums/f34/does...ht-101396.html

    http://allnurses.com/forums/f34/pas-...-er-89616.html
    *guest* likes this.
  7. 1
    I am a Nurse Practioner in Women's Health. One of the main differences is that I am on my own license and a PA is under an MD on the MD's license. Your abilties and pay ranges VARY greatly from state to state. If I had to do it over again, (Texas anyway), I would go PA. They have a far stronger lobby in the legislature, and overall make better money.
    *guest* likes this.
  8. 0
    Quote from austinranch
    I am a Nurse Practioner in Women's Health. One of the main differences is that I am on my own license and a PA is under an MD on the MD's license. Your abilties and pay ranges VARY greatly from state to state. If I had to do it over again, (Texas anyway), I would go PA. They have a far stronger lobby in the legislature, and overall make better money.
    What is the advantage of being on your own license versus under MD's license ?

    What's your comment regarding the university of texas medical branch for PA ? Is it reputable ? I am an international student.
  9. 0
    I know it varies from state to state but I have also heard that NP's have perscriptive abilities and most PAs do not?
  10. 0
    From what I understand, another difference is in the schooling. NP's are taught differently than PA's as far as healing/caring and that type of stuff. I am pre-nursing myself, so I don't know all the details, but I have read that on other posts similar to this. I plan on doing the RN route and maybe, after I've done that for several years, going the NP route because I like the nursing model better than the PA model. I like the whole nursing approach . . . that is a personal opinion.
  11. 0
    In california at least, PAs and FNPs go to the same school and have the same schooling. The difference is that FNPs are certified/licenced under the nursing board. They virtually do the same thing because they are taught all the same things. Once thing that is different however is that PAs must have all of their charts reviewed and signed off by doctors, where FNPs do not. PAs have to have some type of hands on medical experience and for a certian amount of documented time, not that FNPs don't, they usually just have the hours already having worked as a nurse. I work with FNPs and PAs. The FNPs have a certification/licence as FNPs and PA-C while the PAs are just PA-C.
  12. 0
    Quote from sddlnscp
    From what I understand, another difference is in the schooling. NP's are taught differently than PA's as far as healing/caring and that type of stuff. I am pre-nursing myself, so I don't know all the details, but I have read that on other posts similar to this. I plan on doing the RN route and maybe, after I've done that for several years, going the NP route because I like the nursing model better than the PA model. I like the whole nursing approach . . . that is a personal opinion.
    Having investigated this thoroughly in NC before deciding to pursue nursing, I can add this: here PAs are taught under the medical model and at Duke and ECU attend some classes with the med students. NPs are trained and have been taught under the nursing model.
  13. 0
    Quote from austinranch
    I am a Nurse Practioner in Women's Health. If I had to do it over again, (Texas anyway), I would go PA. They have a far stronger lobby in the legislature, and overall make better money.
    Really? As a PA, I thought NPs had the stronger lobby! :chuckle


    Quote from ELKMNin06
    I have also heard that NP's have perscriptive abilities and most PAs do not?
    Nurse Ratched gave you the best link for getting the facts about the PA profession, www.aapa.org. It's a huge site that will take a long time to go through! Here's a link to "Where PAs are allowed to prescribe" from that site. You'll see that PAs write scripts in all states but two.

    Quote from HeartsOpenWide
    In california at least... PAs must have all of their charts reviewed and signed off by doctors, where FNPs do not.
    Kinda... Here's a summary of California's "hinky" supervision requirements:
    "Physician must be available in person or by electronic communication at all times PA is caring for patients. Written guidelines for supervision must include one or more of the following: same-day examination of patient by physician; countersignature of all medical records within 30 days; protocols for some or all tasks. Supervising physician must review, countersign, and date at least 10% of medical records within 30 days for patients treated by PA, for PAs working under protocols."

    Arizona's laws are more relaxed: "Physician need not be present on site; weekly meeting required. Board approval needed for PA utilization in separate location." (no chart signatures)

    And NC is probably the best for PAs: "Supervision continuous but physical presence of physician not required at all times. PA must meet with supervising physician monthly for first six months of employment and every six months thereafter to discuss clinical problems and quality improvement measures." (no chart signatures)

    But I'll bet my NP colleagues will agree, what your state will let you do is not always what your employer will let you do. And in reality, new grads in both professions will probably need more supervision than the laws require. IMHO, the least restrictive laws should only apply to the more experienced PAs and NPs. Here's a link to the AAPA's summaries of State Regulation of PA practice.

    Quote from austinranch
    One of the main differences is that I am on my own license and a PA is under an MD on the MD's license.
    PAs are certified nationally, but 41 states grant PAs licensure. We get our own DEA numbers (in most states) and our own PINs in all states, and are required to be separately insured. PAs do practice under MD supervision, but not on the MD license. And while the definition of supervision varies from state to state, it is a fact of the PA life... if you are uncomfortable with that, then you should not consider the PA profession.


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